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Most people pushing themselves through workouts are hoping that all that grunting and sweating is bringing them closer to a specific goal. Setting a fitness goal is easy. Simply say to yourself, “I’m going to complete next week’s triathlon in record time” and, poof! You have a goal! It’s no wonder a University of Scranton study found that staying fit and losing weight were both in the top five New Years resolutions of 2015. But then things get a bit more complicated.

How Goals Can Stunt Your Progress

Yes, goals can be a positive motivating force. But they can also hurt your progress. Focusing on unrealistic goals can distract you from the “in the moment” successes of feeling stronger, faster, or more flexible. If your goal is to get the biceps of a professional basketball player, you’re setting yourself up for frustration and despair when three sets of curls don’t produce a pair of massive arms.

Even if you remain totally committed to your fitness routine, god-like muscles won’t appear right away. Physical changes take time (a lot of time) and commitment to things like muscle confusion, recovery, and proper nutrition. Luckily, proper nutrition is one goal that’s readily attainable. Today’s sports nutrition products — like the premium protein bars, shakes and powders from EAS — are designed to help your body prepare for and recover from grueling workouts. Adequate protein intake can help you improve your physical health and performance, but you’d need magic to see a massive physical change overnight.